Hogwarts Is No More: Jac Frost on the Appeal of “Beautiful Creatures”
Jac Frost, Director of Arts & Entertainment
February 15, 2013 •
The Fad (Or Lack Thereof)
Since Harry Potter, authors haven’t dared to write young adult novels about witches and wizards. In fact, there is a much larger array of popular teen series with vampire love stories than any following the lives of sorcerers. Maybe authors do not want to jinx their story before it is even published with connections to the epic tale of The Boy Who Lived. Or perhaps they’re bored with the idea of witches and warlocks battling for the greater good. Regardless of the “why,” the truth is that paranormal romance mainly revolves around possessive, obsessive, and sometimes sparkly otherworldly, not completely (if at all) human creatures. Beautiful Creatures which teenagers (mainly teenage girls) obsess over.
Beautiful Creatures is the latest of these paranormal romances to hit bookshelves and cause such an addiction that movies are based after the books. The novel, written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl holds a female paranormal as the protagonist against evil and a human male narrator, madly in love with her. Not only is the girl the supernatural, she’s a witch. It looks like Garcia and Stohl decided to turn the world of paranormal romance upside down in a way that has obviously brought joy to their audience. Senior Summer Gray divulges her opinions on the co-authored novel, “I could sound professional and say it was a refreshing take on spell casters and the south, told be a mortal boy. I liked [the story]. I enjoy books that are told from a male perspective.”
The novel follows Ethan Wate a sophomore living in Gatlin, Georgia a small town stuck in the past with their obsession over the Civil War. Ethan, bored living in the ultra boring Gatlin spends his time fantasizing about his future college years and his nights dreaming of attempting to save a mysterious girl from falling off a cliff. When the girl of his dreams begins attending Gatlin High School ,the district becomes a war zone as they attempt to run the girl, Lena Duchannes, (niece of the town’s shut in) out of the community.
The twist? Lena is a Caster (which is just a snooty term for witch) and on her seventeenth birthday she will be “claimed” by either light or dark side of magic.
The book moves along at a great pace with the perfect amount of twists, a best friend that falls in love with the bad girl and the mother of all villains (literally, the mom’s the bad guy, whose mom I will not say).
Will the movie be any good? Or is Beautiful Creatures merely the first to enter a new competition in Hollywood to find the next Twilight? I personally fear the next Twilight in all of its fan girl madness. The obsession tends to make what was once a good book much less enjoyable, especially if the book becomes a movie where actors are hired based on looks rather than actual talent. Not to disrespect the Twilight franchise, but I hope this film on all things witchery allows a less sparkly and more to the page version of a much beloved novel.
Lastly, I just hope you read the book before you see the movie, because the movie always leaves something out.